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What is De jure and what is De facto?

De Jure means as by law and De Facto means as in fact, as there are situations when the legal position does not correspond to the actual situation. The best example is where there is a revolution or a coup d etat in a country. To overthrow a government by force is illegal. Therefore the new regime is de jure invalid but is still the de facto government. Other governments have to decide whether to recognise the new government and, when they do, the new government becomes de jure.

A typical example would be the Military Coup in Portugal in 1974. It is obviously against the constitution of any country for the armed forces to seize power but in this case it was the only way to free the country from oppression and hence all governments recognised the new state. Thus the de facto government by virtue of being recognised bacame de jure...

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